Music as Medicine
Q&A with Deva Premal & Miten
Deva Premal and Miten began singing together soon after meeting in 1990 at the ashram of their guru, Osho. In the ensuing years, they have become devotional chant music’s best-selling duo. Their newest release, MantraLove, is a compilation of chants and songs gathered during their life as a couple.
How does chanting affect you on a day-to-day level?
Deva Premal: I feel our life is a flowering of mantra chanting. I love every aspect of my life, from the dishwashing to the emails to the concerts to the meditation. Everything feels like a service in a way that’s not a sacrifice; it’s just a blessing. It’s like a flowering, and mantra chanting is the scent that’s all around it.
Miten: Back in the times when they were creating the Vedic scriptures, they were experimenting with sound. What they discovered back then was that some sounds, when you repeat them a certain number of times, create actual, obvious responses in the brain and in the body. What Deva and I are running around doing is chanting these very powerful healing formulas. It’s like taking the best smoothie every day, or the best medicine that you can imagine.
How do you feel music can be a catalyst for spiritual growth?
Deva Premal: Music is my greatest challenge, because it’s such a mirror of how present I am, how daring I am, how timid I am, how much I hold back, how adventurous I can be. Miten has been my guiding light in that realm, so that never ceases to be something to grow with.
Miten: Music is, very obviously to us, a spiritual teacher in itself. You’re out of your comfort zone, and you’re open to whatever you find yourself in. Music is constantly seducing you: How much more can you share? Do you want to stop here? Do you want to come further in? It’s a never-ending journey; a never-ending process of sitting at the feet of the great musical Saraswati.